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A CHURCH FOR ALL

A humorous, upbeat look at a contemporary church community where all are welcome.

This cheerful introduction to attending a Sunday-morning church service provides an overview of the experience in an inclusive, liberal Christian church.

The story opens with two dads (one white, one black) serving breakfast to their daughters, who are black. The family walks to church, meeting other adults and children of many ages, ethnicities, and body types as the congregation gathers. The huge cast of characters entering the church includes gay and lesbian couples, several people with canes, a child using a wheelchair, interracial families, and people with all sorts of looks, including shaved heads, mohawks, and tattoos. The church choir and the black pastor wear traditional robes, but the décor of the church is upbeat and contemporary, with banners proclaiming the welcoming and inclusive philosophy of this congregation. A simple, rhyming text describes some of the aspects of the worship service and different kinds of church members, with a repeated refrain emphasizing this church is for everyone. A cross is displayed at the front of the church, and one banner reads “God’s Doors Are Open to All,” but God and Jesus are not mentioned in the text. Cheerful, busy illustrations expand the minimal text with the intriguing cast of definitely diverse churchgoers, charmingly including children who can’t sit still. An author’s note explains the story was inspired by the Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco.

A humorous, upbeat look at a contemporary church community where all are welcome. (Picture book/religion. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8075-1179-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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BUDDY'S NEW BUDDY

From the Growing With Buddy series , Vol. 3

Making friends isn’t always this easy and convenient.

How do you make a new friend when an old one moves away?

Buddy (from Sorry, Grown-Ups, You Can’t Go to School, 2019, etc.) is feeling lonely. His best friend just moved across town. To make matters worse, there is a field trip coming up, and Buddy needs a bus partner. His sister, Lady, has some helpful advice for making a new pal: “You just need to find something you have in common.” Buddy loves the game Robo Chargers and karate. Surely there is someone else who does, too! Unfortunately, there isn’t. However, when a new student arrives (one day later) and asks everyone to call her Sunny instead of Alison, Buddy gets excited. No one uses his given name, either; they just call him Buddy. He secretly whispers his “real, official name” to Sunny at lunch—an indication that a true friendship is being formed. The rest of the story plods merrily along, all pieces falling exactly into place (she even likes Robo Chargers!), accompanied by Bowers’ digital art, a mix of spot art and full-bleed illustrations. Friendship-building can be an emotionally charged event in a child’s life—young readers will certainly see themselves in Buddy’s plight—but, alas, there is not much storytelling magic to be found. Buddy and his family are White, Sunny and Mr. Teacher are Black, and Buddy’s other classmates are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Making friends isn’t always this easy and convenient. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-30709-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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